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“Mark Bowen”
Censoring Science at NASA

I’m currently reading a very interesting book about NASA’s work on climate change. “Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth About Global Warming,” by Mark Bowen, is an eye-opening account of the Bush Administration’s handling of global warming science.

Bowen recounts how that the Administration was determined to distort or censor anything produced by government scientists about global warming that contradicted its official position that more study was required before mandatory carbon caps or other actions could be taken.

Although the book focuses on Dr. James Hansen, a noted climate scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center, the story is much broader. Bowen says this effort was part of a larger, tightly coordinated campaign run out of the White House to censor government climate scientists in NASA, NOAA, EPA and every other agency that deals with climate change. This censorship involved the heavy editing of NASA press releases, the denial of permission to scientists to give interviews to media outlets, threats to people’s jobs, and other coercive measures.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • March 19, 2008
Mike Griffin on Global Warming, Intolerance and Policing Free Speech

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin emerged from his ninth floor office over the last two weeks to give a series of major speeches and interviews. Griffin updated everyone on how things are going at the space agency (very well, surprisingly enough) and tried to clarify his position on global warming. On the latter, he may have created even more confusion.

Griffin’s first stop was the Goddard Memorial Symposium, where he blamed critics for undermining his agency’s efforts and demanded that everyone get in line behind the Bush Administration’s plans to send humans to live on the moon and eventually Mars.

“The rift and harsh rhetoric between proponents of robotic science and human spaceflight does not help our nation’s overall space effort one iota, but it does cause division that weakens us,” Griffin declared. “If we wish a better reality for tomorrow, we as a community must police this behavior; those who engage in it must be made to feel, and be, unwelcome in the community at large. My hope for today is that there will in the future be more respect for each others’ work.”

With that threat/exhortation delivered, Griffin was off to Houston for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. While there, he granted an interview to the editors of the Houston Chronicle in which he decried the unwillingness of certain people to listen to alternative viewpoints. Who, precisely? Scientists. Climate change scientists, to be exact.

  • Parabolic Arc
  • March 18, 2008